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Research Degrees in Theology and Religion

  • 1. Admission as a Probationer Research Student

    Candidates may apply for admission as Probationer Research Student, or directly to DPhil status, on a full-time or part-time basis. In assessing applications from candidates seeking to undertake a research degree through part-time study, the Graduate Studies Committees of the Board of the Faculty of Theology & Religion shall have regard to evidence that the candidate can meet the following attendance requirements for their period of part-time study: attendance for a minimum of thirty days of university-based work each year, normally coinciding with the full terms of the academic year, to be arranged with the agreement of their supervisor, for the period that their names remain on the Register of Graduate Students unless individually dispensed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the Board of the Faculty of Theology & Religion. During a candidate's probationary period the attendance arrangements must take account of relevant induction and training events scheduled by the Faculty.

2. Transfer to M.Litt. or D. Phil. status

  • All students admitted to Probationer Research Student (PRS) status will be required to submit an application to transfer to M.Litt. or D.Phil. status no later than Monday of Week 0 in the candidate’s third term (or Monday of Week 0 in the candidate’s sixth term in the case of part-time students). In exceptional cases the Faculty’s Graduate Studies Committee may permit the candidate to postpone submission; candidates seeking such postponement must apply to the Director of Graduate Studies for deferral of transfer of status well in advance, and no later than Monday of Week 5 of the candidate's second term (or the Monday of Week 5 of the candidate's fourth term in the case of part-time students). 

  • 3. Confirmation of D.Phil. status

    Application for confirmation of D.Phil. status, with endorsements by the candidate’s college and supervisor, shall normally be presented by Monday of Week 0 in the seventh term after admission to the D.Phil. programme (or in the candidate’s fourteenth term after transfer to full D.Phil. status in the case of part-time students) but must be presented no later than Monday of Week 5 in the eighth term (or in the candidate’s sixteenth term in the case of part-time students). In exceptional cases the Faculty’s Graduate Studies Committee may permit the candidate to postpone submission by one term; candidates seeking such postponement should apply to the Committee through the Director of Graduate Studies well in advance.

  • 4. Theses

    Theses submitted for the Degree of M.Litt. should not exceed 50,000 words, or 100,000 for the D.Phil., excluding only the bibliography in both cases. The faculty board is prepared to consider an application for a relaxation of this limit in special circumstances.

    All candidates must submit an abstract of the thesis, of between 1,000 and 1,500 words for an M.Litt., and between 1,500 and 2,500 for a D.Phil., prepared by the candidate. This is in addition to the requirement to submit an abstract of not more than 300 words in length required by the Education Committee's regulations. One copy of each abstract prepared at the time of the examination should be included in the examiners’ copies of the thesis. Copies of both abstracts shall be included in the copy of the thesis which shall be deposited in the Bodleian Library.